As part of the funders strand of the Inspiring Impact NI programme five statutory funders to the VCSE sectors have been identified to undertake demonstration projects to apply an impact practice approach to one of their funding streams.
This has been in collaboration with the Public Sector Group, a coordination mechanism for funding to the voluntary and community sector chaired by the Department for Social Development’s Voluntary & Community Unit. An ad hoc sub group helped to finalise a set of criteria that determined the commitment required by those implementing a demonstration project. This was followed by an Expression of Interest process circulated across all Government Departments, Local Authorities and Agencies of Government.
The five demonstration projects are as follows:
- Regional Infrastructure Support Programme (Advice & Interfaith themes) – Department for Social Development
- Community Development Grant Programme – Belfast City Council
- Community Grants Scheme – Northern Ireland Housing Executive
- United Youth Programme – Department for Employment & Learning
- Healthy Living Centres – Public Health Agency
A PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) team will work closely with each of the demonstration projects in applying an impact practice approach as set out in the Funders’ Principles and Drivers of Good Impact Practice, a resources developed by the wider Inspiring Impact UK programme.
Over the next six months we plan to document the process, capture the learning and make recommendations for supporting an impact practice approach with statutory funders including:
- Producing a revised draft of the Funders’ Principles & Drivers of Impact Practice applicable to statutory funders
- Develop a template for applying an impact approach that supports outcomes focussed funding within the public sector and can assist in tackling bureaucracy.
Inspiring Impact NI is a Building Change Trust initiative which will support VCSE organisations and their funders to better understand and embrace impact practice.
As the Northern Ireland partner on the UK board, The Building Change Trust has committed £500,000 matched by a further £188,000 from the Department for Social Development, to deliver an initial two year programme of work here in Northern Ireland.